Rise in Dubai Police search-and-rescue missions

Forty-seven people died in incidents where land-rescue operations had to be conducted in the first seven months of the year, an increase from 35 during the same period last year.

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DUBAI // Forty-seven people died in incidents where land-rescue operations had to be conducted in the first seven months of the year, an increase from 35 during the same period last year.

About 80 per cent of the Search and Rescue unit’s missions involve trying to remove a person trapped in a vehicle, said Brig Anas Al Matroushi, director of the General Department of Transport and Rescue at Dubai Police. Often, the person trapped is already dead.

“So far this year, the unit has been involved in 128 land-rescue operations, in which 47 people were killed, 64 were seriously injured, 77 were moderately injured and 84 sustained minor injuries,” he said, adding that last year during the same months the department was involved in 105 operations, in which 35 people were killed and 195 were injured.

“We set a target that we need to reach a land rescue operation within 12 minutes 93 per cent of the time but, in fact, our records show that we reach the scene within 7 to 8 minutes.”

Meanwhile, Lt Col Juma Ahmad bin Darwish, director of the Search and Rescue Department, said that three people have drowned in Dubai since the beginning of this year.

“There have been 23 drowning rescue cases, in which three people were killed, four were seriously injured, two were moderately injured and 25 sustained minor injuries,” he said, adding that the unit’s target for a drowning situation is to reach the victim within six minutes.

Lt Col Ahmad Burqibah, deputy director of the Search and Rescue Department, said police units are always on standby and ready for any rescue mission.

“People should not hesitate to call 999 in case of an emergency and should also utilise Dubai Police’s smartphone app,” he said. “With a simple press of a button on the app, the police can immediately get a location using a GPS system. This is ideal for cases in which people get lost in the desert or sea.”

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae